Monday, January 26, 2015

How the Health Industry Uses Law of Attraction to Keep Your Dollars Flowing

"God, the Formless Substance, does not see disease, think disease, know disease, or recognize disease. Disease is recognized only by the thought of man; God thinks nothing but health." ~ Wallace D. Wattles, The Science of Being Well.

Beware of pink ribbons.

The words "healing", "heal" "healer", and even "wellness" have always felt icky to me, but I never could quite put my finger on exactly why, until I came across something that Mary Morrissey said in "The 11 Forgotten Laws".

I don't remember exactly how she phrased it, but the gist was that Jesus never met a leper, a lame person, or anyone who had an injury or illness.

Not one.

Why?

Because Jesus literally didn't see their illness. To him, the illness didn't exist. He made no agreement with illness. Only with perfection. And this is how he was able to heal people.

You see, there is a widespread false premise at work in the human mind, that the only way to make negative, unwanted things go away is to fight against them.

So we have wars against drugs and wars against terrorism and wars against cancer...

Not exactly working too well, are they? (Especially the "war against women". Why, I see those brazen hussies everywhere, just going about their business like there's not a care in the world. Shameful.)

UNLESS the purpose of these "wars" isn't to eradicate the bad things, but to subtly promote them in order to keep dollars flowing into the coffers of those who benefit.

Sinister thought, isn't it?

But I wonder...

Most people think of words like "healing", "healer", "health", "wellness", "survivor", "escape", and "gratitude" as positive words. But they carry with them a subtle poison, whiffs of the energy of struggle, disease, and suffering.

Why do cancer survivors so often get cancer again? It's because the energy of "cancer" is present in the word "survive". And every time a "cancer survivor" goes in for a followup exam to make sure there's no more cancer, they are actually reactivating the energy of cancer in their minds, which in turn reactivates the cancer in their bodies.

Does knowing this make you wonder what's really going on when, once a year, the pharmaceutical industry trots out its "pink ribbon" breast cancer awareness campaign?

It does me.

If you're a business owner, be wary of pink ribbons. Use your sensitivity to find out where your customers are hurting, but then offer them solutions in a genuine spirit of helpfulness, without manipulation or posturing. And then deliver on your promises.

If you'd like some help with the ethical marketing of your business, shoot me an email: symblemeservicesonline@gmail.com. Let's set a new standard for marketing that focuses on real solutions in addition to numbers.

What do you say?


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Catharine Symblème, Business Evangelist

Online Marketing and Business Promotions
315 State Avenue
Alamosa, CO
719-937-1815
symblemeservicesonline@gmail.com

Thursday, January 22, 2015

How to Ace a Radio Interview and Get Exposure That Makes People Pay Attention

photo credit: baldbrad via photopin cc
This article was inspired -- and to a large extent structured -- by the videos of Alex Carroll, who sold millions of copies of his book almost exclusively through radio PR. 

You could even say that, on some level, this article is by both of us.

~ Catharine

Radio PR is often overlooked as a way to do marketing, because it doesn't necessarily lead to direct sales.

What radio PR excels at, however, is establishing you as an authority in your field, which is something that no form of regular advertising is going to do. Plus, it gets you into the ears and brains of a pretty good-sized audience, and you can talk about your business for more than 30 seconds. For free!

What's not to love?

Enjoy, and I hope you find this little tome useful.

%%%%%%%%%%%%

How to Ace a Radio Interview and Get Exposure That Makes People Pay Attention


1. Show up early, and be prepared 

Everything in radio is micro-timed down to the sub-second. This means that if a show starts at 9 AM, it starts at 9 AM, not three minutes late.

It's not a bad idea to listen to the show ahead of time so that you get to know the format and what to expect. Most commercial stations have at least two, sometimes three commercial breaks roughly every 10-20 minutes, also micro-timed down to the sub-second. So be prepared to stop mid-conversation and then pick up where you left off.

If it's a live show, plan to arrive at the radio station (or call in) at least 1/2 hour early so that you can get oriented and do a sound check with the engineer.

If you're calling in, close your windows against noise, turn off your phone, put up your "Do Not Disturb" sign and make your setting as quiet and distraction-free as possible.

2. Take charge of the interview

The host of the show may or may not be very skilled as an interviewer, so walk in (or call in) with your bullet points and be prepared to just jump in if they hesitate or start rambling.

Ever listen to someone think? Yeah, me either.

This is not the time to be tentative; balls is way more entertaining than brains, and as much as they might like to tell you otherwise, radio is entertainment above all else.

3. Introduction - 60 seconds

This is where you talk about where you went to university, what kind of background you have ... and it's also your hook. It's like your audio headline -- it's the way you talk your audience into sticking around for the rest of the interview.

Bonus: if there's some controversy in what you're talking about -- say you disagree with some experts in your field -- this makes a great opener.

4. Talk about your topic - strut your stuff 

This is where you get to talk about your bullet points and make yourself sound really smart.

Once again, radio -- yes, even the news -- is more about human interest and entertainment than facts. Storytelling is golden. In fact, I have a theory that storytelling is in our DNA, and the reason that TV, movies, and radio are so popular because they are the modern day equivalent of our ancestors telling stories around the campfire at night.

Also, little bite-sized facts, jokes, anecdotes ... all of these things sound great on radio.

5. A Special Word About Digressing: REMEMBER THE 30-90 SECOND RULE

There's a reason that most commercial breaks only last 30-90 seconds. 30-90 seconds is the maximum amount of time that an audience will stick around and put up with information that is irrelevant to the program they're listening to.

This means that if you catch yourself wandering off-topic, or your interviewer leads you astray (shame on them, but it happens), you have 30-90 seconds to gracefully finish your thoughts and bring yourself back before your  listeners either change the channel or put in Kenny G.

An aside: if you listen to NPR, and you suspect that those fund drive pitch breaks last longer than 30-90 seconds, your instincts are correct.  However, believe it or not, those segments average only 2-3 minutes each...and they can actually be quite entertaining if they're done well. The longest those breaks ever go is maybe 5-6 minutes. I pitched all by myself once for 10 minutes. Did my best, but by the end of it, I was ready to die...and so were my listeners. Never did that again.

One minute. Digress. Come back. That's it.

6. Wrap it up

This is in essence your Call to Action. You get to talk about

- How listeners can get in touch with you
- Mention your website
- Offer your freebies
- Talk prices (unless you're on nonprofit radio, in which case you don't get to talk prices)

Tell your listeners what to do next, and can offer them something of value that also benefits you.

7. Followup - DON'T SKIP THIS, even if you're tempted to

After the interview, send the host a thank-you letter and tell them you'd be happy to fill in if they have any last-minute cancellations.

Bonus: 

Here are a few general hints about maintaining a good audio presence, whether it's live on-air or pre-recorded.

-  Slow down. This can be tough when you're nervous, but if you talk fast, you're going to sound insecure. Slow, measured speech carries more authority.

-  Relax. Keep it conversational, like you're talking with a friend over a beer or coffee. Sounding scripted and stiff is a (painfully) common phenomenon, and this one hint will set you apart from 90% of your run-of-the-mill interviewees.

- Smile. Radio may be an audio medium, but people can still hear you smile. If you're reading from your notes and you fluff a word, laugh at yourself and move on. Nobody expects you to be perfect, and your audience, them being fellow human beings and all, can relate to you making an occasional mistake.

- If you really blow it big and make the most horrendous, face-planting gaffe on the planet, apologize...and then move on. Fortunately, in the broadcast world, attention spans are short, and unless you keep dwelling on your blunder, I guarantee your listeners will have forgotten all about it by the next commercial break.

That's it! Good luck!

P.S. If you'd like to find out more about adding FREE exposure to your marketing strategy through radio PR, email me at symblemeservicesonline@gmail.com:

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Catharine Symblème, Business Evangelist

Online Marketing and Business Promotions
315 State Avenue
Alamosa, CO
719-937-1815

symblemeservicesonline@gmail.com

Monday, January 19, 2015

Are You an Imposter?

photo credit: ...ven y siente el RUIDO ! via photopin cc
Are you an impostor?

If so, you're probably an overachiever with a highly developed sense of integrity and a good code of ethics. And you're in good company. As in, Einstein, Neil Gaiman, Maya Angelou, Sheryl Sandberg, Sonia Sotomayor...yeah, we're talkin' real world-class company.

And that's only the people who've publicly admitted it. I'll betcha that everyone who's not completely sociopathic sometimes thinks they're an impostor, too.

So if you feel like you're walking around with nothing but your underwear on...well, so is everyone else. So welcome to the skivvies club! Grab a beverage, and we'll all scrooch over to make a little room for ya on the bench.

We impostors tend to think that everybody else knows everything, including everything that we know. But in reality, everybody knows a LOT about some stuff, NOTHING about other stuff, and SOMETHING about most everything else. And miraculously, we can sometimes find enough common ground with each other that we're able to have a semi-intelligent conversation.

Make sense?

This whole impostor thing though...it can make it really difficult to market ourselves. I mean, if everybody else already knows everything we do (which is what the impostor's mind tells us), then why should they hire us to do it for them?

Well, here's why. Sure, maybe they can do what you do, but they're too busy to do it themselves. Or they'd rather focus on their core service. Or outsourcing to someone like you is part of their business model.

Let's circumvent that silly old impostor's mind and get your talents out there where people can use them. Ya can't change the world if your light's hiding under your bum.

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Symblème Services Online
Catharine Symblème, Business Evangelist

Online Marketing and Business Promotions
315 State Avenue
Alamosa, CO
719-937-1815

symblemeservicesonline@gmail.com


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Why Marketing is an Utter Waste of Time

photo credit: sjrankin via photopin cc
What?

Wait a minute...you're a marketer. Why are you telling me that marketing is a waste of time? Do you want to put yourself out of business?

If my telling you this puts me out of business, but it ends up saving you money and effort, then...yes.

Are you crazy?

A lot of people think so.

Here's the deal.

The most skilled marketer or salesperson on the planet is unable to MAKE anybody buy your stuff. Correct?

It doesn't matter what tool you use, whether it's word-of-mouth, social media, teaching classes, radio PR, any of that stuff...if customers don't want to buy from you, they're not going to buy. And there is bupkis you can do about it. Unless you have a way to physically find them and hold a gun to their head.

(Imagining being able to send a thug and a gun through someone's 3D printer just from knowing the victim's IP address...there's gotta be a science fiction story in there...)

So, let's step back from all of the analytics, ROI, SEO, and all of the other marketing gobbledygook for a moment.

If marketing isn't ultimately making you money, STOP MARKETING.

You with me so far?

Just STOP.

Stop standing on your head, waving variegated flags and singing "Hail to the Queen" in order to try and get somebody -- anybody -- to pay attention to you.

Their behavior is not under your control.

Period. End of story.

And now begins the interesting part of the journey.

Let's change tactics and visit with Einstein and the other physicists for a little bit.

These guys agree that the space between solid objects is actually filled with air and pollution (okay let's not talk about the pollution) and molecules and particles/energy/waves...that we're all actually moving through kind of an energetic soup of -- let's call them "particles", for simplicity's sake.

And you've probably heard that this soup of particles that we move through doesn't just sit there; it reacts to us. We wiggle this particle over here, that particle over there wiggles, too.

Go look up the Stern–Gerlach experiment sometime. Yeah, we really do change what we focus on. Pretty incredible if you let that sink in.

So, if you step back and look underneath all of the noise around marketing...

...on the most fundamental level, the ONLY THING marketing does is cause us to focus on the people we want to serve.

In other words, marketing doesn't affect anyone "out there"; it causes US to define, refine, and focus on only one person:

Our perfect customer.

The rest can simply pass by on their merry way, undistracted -- and unnoticed -- by us.

So stop worrying about the 99.9999999%. Stop trying to measure how everyone on the planet is reacting to your marketing efforts.

Focus on THE ONE.

And remember...THE ONE is already looking for you. All you need to do is make yourself visible.

Physics takes care of the rest.

If you'd like some help with the "getting visible" part, gimme a shout.

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Symblème Services Online
Catharine Symblème, Business Evangelist

Online Marketing and Business Promotions
315 State Avenue
Alamosa, CO
719-937-1815

symblemeservicesonline@gmail.com

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Mind-Boggling Truth About Junk Mail Marketing

A few weeks ago, I pulled these 12 junk mail envelopes from our Internet service provider out of our mailbox. Each envelope was addressed to "315 State Avenue..."

The thing is, there are only 6 offices in the building, and none of the renters pays for Internet service. It's included in their rent.

I simply tossed all 12 envelopes.

What a waste.

Even apart from the postage, bulk mail requires an initial setup fee of $150 and an annual fee of $150. (These are statistics from 2012; the fees have probably gone up since then). Then there's writing, printing, sorting, and distributing costs.

After all of that, half of it it is never even opened by the recipient. On the days that a mass mailing goes out, the trash bins at the Post Office are overflowing.

Statistics from 41pounds.org state that:

  • Companies produce 4 million tons of junk mail a year
  • 100 million trees are destroyed, 28 billion gallons of water is wasted, and global warming gases equivalent to 9 million cars are produced making the paper for these mailings
  • $320 million of local taxes are spent to dispose of junk mail each year instead of providing parks, libraries, health care and other valuable services.

Let me re-state this: If you're using mass mailings as a marketing strategy, not only are you wasting a lot of money, you're

  • Destroying the environment,
  • Annoying your customers, and
  • Wasting taxpayer money

AND...even in the miraculous event that a potential customer actually opens and reads your mail...

...then what happens?

THEY GO AND CHECK YOU OUT ONLINE!

9 out of 10 potential customers will look your business up on the Internet before they contact you, even if they get a referral from a friend or relative. And if they don't find you, chances are they'll call your competitors.

The ones with an online presence.

If you are spending ANY money at all on marketing -- newspaper ads, radio ads, flyers, anything -- you NEED, you MUST have an online presence if your business is going to survive.

Will 2015 be the year that you finally take the Internet seriously?

If so, let me help you assemble an online marketing plan that makes sense for your business: symblemeservicesonline@gmail.com

It's much less difficult -- and way cheaper -- than you might think.

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Symblème Services Online
Catharine Symblème, Business Evangelist

Online Marketing and Business Promotions
315 State Avenue
Alamosa, CO
719-937-1815

symblemeservicesonline@gmail.com

Thursday, January 8, 2015

3 Things to Do When You're Being Taken for Granted


Ever feel like you're being taken for granted?

In my own employee-to-entrepreneur journey, one of the most painful things I encountered was the lack of support from people I once considered to be my friends.

I posted links to my blog and Facebook page, thinking they'd be thrilled for me and eager to find out about this new thing that's going on in my life.

Nothing.

I tried to fan their fires of enthusiasm. Tried to tell them about aspects of my business that I thought they might find interesting. "Hey, look at this! Isn't this cool? I know you'll love this -- check it out!"

Bupkis.

I even tried to set a good example. I went out of my way to Like and link to their websites and Facebook pages, liked, shared, retweeted, and reposted their posts, wrote blogs about them, talked about them to other people whenever I could.

Crickets.

The problem with people who have known you for awhile is that they tend to see you as inevitable, sort of like dirt.

So, as a business owner, what to do?

Three things:

1. First, realize that there are people who (a) understand how important sharing and networking is to growing a business, (b) acknowledge and thank you when you help them out, and (c) help you in return. Even if these people get 500 emails a day, they will make time for you. So stop standing on your head trying to get your friends' attention. They're not interested, and they never will be. Move on.

2. Second, be yourself. Let your personality out to play. In an ocean of 7 billion human beings, I can guarantee that there is someone looking for someone just like you, but they can't find you unless you let yourself shine.

3. Third, land yourself some interviews on some radio shows or podcasts. Teach a class in your niche. Make some noise in a forum about your area of interest. Establish yourself as an expert in what you do, because you are.

You deserve friends who will support you in your business endeavors. It's time for you to find them.

I close with the following quote from Working With the Law by Raymond Holliwell:
Nowhere  do  we find  [Jesus] giving  as  much  as  a thought  to anyone except  those who desired to improve and grow. He cautioned others about unwise giving, “Do not throw your  pearls  before swine  lest  they  trample  them under  their  feet  and  turn  and  rend you.” He meant simply, do not give your  substance to anyone who cannot appreciate it or improve with it.
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Online Business Promotions
Catharine Symblème, Business Evangelist

315 State Avenue
Alamosa, CO
719-937-1815
symblemeservicesonline@gmail.com

Monday, January 5, 2015

How to Help a Radio Host While You Market Your Business for Free

photo credit: zen via photopin cc
For a short time, one of our local radio stations had a nationally award-winning show producer.

She referred to her show as an "audio magazine" about area culture, from restaurants and breweries to artists and poetry slams.

I asked her one time what the hardest part of her job was.

She replied, without hesitation, "Finding people to interview. It's a total pain in the ass."

She spent hours on the phone and drove all over the region with her dog to interview business owners and patrons about their events and establishments, then spent every evening producing the shows, including sound effects, music, the whole nine yards. Sometimes she would be up until 10 or 11:00 at night.

It was really a wonderful show. She took great pride in it.

And understandably, when the station stopped paying her, she quit.

But that's a whole 'nother story.

It takes a lot of work to feed the "content monster" of media, especially for a weekday show like this woman's. So she was delighted any time she received a call from a business owner who wanted to be featured, or got a referral from someone telling her about a special event. It saved her a lot of time and effort not having to go hunting for these opportunities herself.

What puzzles me to this day is why business owners weren't beating a path to her door. What this woman was offering was nothing short of miraculous: free exposure, to 5-10,000 captive audience members at a time, stuck in their cars with nothing to do but listen to a radio show -- about their business.

But every day, businesses spend huge amounts of money on radio, newspaper, and TV ads that nobody cares about. Or mass mailings that end up in the trash. Or yellow page listings that have become obsolete with the advent of search engines and smart phones.

Why?

Because it's what's always been done.

The hardest part of implementing a new marketing strategy is letting go of the old thinking patterns that say that marketing only looks a certain way.

The second hardest part is figuring out how to implement a new strategy, and then finding the time to do it.

This is the part that I can help you with.

Only you know what your advertising budget is, of course, but I'm willing to wager that you'll end up spending less on me than you do on obsolete marketing techniques that aren't giving you much value for your money.

So let's talk. It's free.

Here's how to get in touch:


Symblème Services Online
Catharine Symblème, Business Evangelist

Online Business Promotions
Connecting the people who have it with the people who want it.

315 State Avenue
Alamosa, CO
719-937-1815
symblemeservicesonline@gmail.com


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